Dealing with addiction is a complex issue that requires an individualized approach. Modern rehabilitation facilities have long since realized that there isn’t one universal way to treat every single patient. In order to help our patients, we use a wide array of alternative treatment options. One of the most important forms of treatment that can help patients express themselves and cope with their struggles is participating in creative therapy sessions. Bright Futures Treatment Center experts are going to take a look at the importance of art therapy – the benefits of being creative during rehabs in Florida, and the great results that can come from it.
What is Art Therapy?
Since the dawn of humanity, art has been a way for us to express our feelings and our thoughts. Creating art lets us look inward and channel the things we would otherwise have trouble finding the words for. Even just observing art and listening to music can cause our emotions to swell. Although many adults neglect their creativity and their need for art, most still have fond memories of creating art when they were children.
Art therapy plays an important role during the whole course of your treatment. During your inpatient treatment you will get to take part in many therapeutic techniques, and will be able to experience firsthand the benefits of being creative during rehabs in Florida. Art therapy offers you a creative routine through which you will be able to express your thoughts and reflect on your feelings. This often represents a welcome change from other forms of therapy which require you to verbally express yourself.
Scientists agree that using art as part of your healing process is an important aspect in treatment that deals in coping with substance abuse problems. The road to recovery is often full of doubt, shame and fear. Art therapy represents a non-invasive, holistic form of treatment, which can be the perfect tool for individuals who have problems processing complex feelings.
There are many forms of art therapy which can be used for self-expression and healing:
There are other forms of therapeutic activities which have the same benefits of being creative during rehabs in Florida, such as yoga and meditation. A common theme for all of them is trying to connect your mind and your body, and establishing a calming routine you can always return to.
How Art Therapy Affects the Brain
As many people who suffer from substance abuse issues know firsthand, addiction is the enemy of creativity. Substance abuse can make it difficult to recognize the emotions of others, or even what you are feeling yourself. This makes it almost impossible to accurately put into words what you are going through. Art can represent the perfect medium for expression and self-exploration.
Generally, most creative pursuits can cause the brain to release dopamine, which is a neurotransmitter. Dopamine is also a natural antidepressant and helps in stress relief. Patients who are suffering from substance addiction often have reduced dopamine levels. Once the natural reward cycle is disturbed the brain has trouble finding joy in experiences that were previously pleasurable. This is usually expressed through a lack of motivation and feelings of depression.
Thankfully, regularly participating in art therapy can be a great way to restore the natural dopamine balance of your body. It’s also a good way to disconnect from your stressors and lower your levels of anxiety. If you manage to make a routine out of creating art, your brain will start to look forward to these sessions where you get to relax and create.
Art As a Way to Express Yourself and Communicate
Those who are just starting their journey of recovery sometimes have a hard time opening up and sharing their thoughts with others. However, group sessions are incredibly important, as they help patients feel supported and understood. In our group therapy sessions there is an atmosphere of respect that is free from judgment. Sharing your thoughts with others who are going through similar struggles can strengthen interpersonal relationships. Relating to others who have had similar experiences can often help you to better understand what you are going through.
Unfortunately, fighting a battle with addiction can be really scary, and facing your fears is often abstract and hard to put into words. Even if you are willing to share with others, you could be confused and might find it hard to explain what you are feeling. For this reason we use other, complementary forms of therapy that can help you deal with your painful thoughts and feelings.
Art therapy can be an incredibly liberating form of expression. Art has no strict rules or purpose. One of the benefits of being creative during your rehab in Florida is that it’s perfectly acceptable to create art even without the intent to express something specific. Sometimes, that’s the only way to actually communicate abstract thoughts or complex emotions.
Creating art can put you into a state of relaxation which can be incredibly soothing. On the other hand, you can also use art to express your frustration, fear and anger. As you progress through your inpatient program or outpatient treatment, you will find that art has a unique way of dismantling your frustrations. In order to create, you will need to focus and to let go of your tension. Learning to stay calm and relaxed is an important skill you will develop, which you can later use in many real-life situations.
Use your Creativity During Rehab for Self-reflection
Alcohol or drug addiction can distort your view of reality, and it can make it very hard to judge your own experiences. Over the course of your treatment you will continually use create art as part of your therapy. Once you have used art to tackle that which you had trouble putting into words, you can reflect on what you have created. Think about how the art made you feel while you were creating it.
Interestingly, even if you couldn’t understand what you were feeling while you were creating the art – those emotions are still there. Your feelings might be easier to interpret if you come back to them later. Another benefit of being creative during your Boynton Beach rehab is that you can use your art to measure your progress and to see how far you’ve come.
For the most part, the art that was created in the early stages of a patient’s therapy comes across as confused and angry. Even without explicit instructions, there is usually a noticeable difference when you look at the later works. In general, the themes tend to get lighter, and the art is much easier to interpret. Over time, patients also become more willing to discuss their creations, which is a clear sign of how much more comfortable they have become with themselves.
Sometimes patients are unwilling to open up and talk about what they are going through. Art can help therapists notice how patients are doing on a subconscious level. The lack of progress in creative activities can mean that the patient might need to have his medical therapy adjusted. Our art is usually a reflection of our inner self. When patients are experiencing something it is usually reflected in their art.
Creativity Can be Used to Relieve Stress
Most patients get a morale boost when they see how their later art pieces have more confident brush strokes. It can be uplifting to see patients enjoy creating art and genuinely having fun in a sober lifestyle. People generally enjoy learning a new skill, and art is particularly well suited for patients that are in recovery. Picking up a creative skill comes with no expectations or deadlines. You can participate in art just for the sake of having fun, and that feeling can be incredibly liberating.
Every painting starts as a blank, white canvass. Being able to meditate over a piece of art without knowing where it will take you can be both exciting and relaxing. Artists often claim that they get lost in their work. Getting into the zone and achieving a state of uninterrupted focus engages the brain and lets you shut off the outside world. Learning how to do that can help you cope when facing other stressors.
Art is subjective, and even when there is an assignment there are no right and wrong answers. A painting is done when you put down the brush, and you get to decide when that happens. Once you do complete an assignment, you can be proud of your accomplishment. Even simple activities, like coloring can also be incredibly relaxing. You get to enjoy yourself while releasing your inner child.
Being Creative During Rehab Prevents Relapse
Unfortunately, a common cause of addiction is low self esteem. An important part of any addiction treatment is preventing relapse. Even after your treatment is over, there will be many real life situations where you might feel tempted or triggered. One of the best ways of dealing with these situations is by developing skills that boost your confidence and make you feel empowered.
Art therapy can help you develop new skills and see your progress in a measurable way. Having pride in your achievement can also be a great way to boost your self esteem and confidence. Being creative during rehab in Palm Beach is a good way to learn a healthy routine you can use when your therapy is finished. Continuing to create art is a rewarding routine that you can always fall back on. When you feel stressed out or tempted, it’s good to return to certain rote activities that can help bring us back to a balanced state.
Building a healthy routine that you can count on is an important part of a sober lifestyle. While many consider art to be creative endeavor, there is also a lot of routine that is part of the creation process. You always prepare your supplies and utensils in the same way. Most artists also have specific music that gets them into the mood. You can use all of these techniques in other situations as well. Whenever you are facing something troubling, you can return to what’s familiar and relaxing.
Art as a Way of Developing Social Skills
Recovery from addiction is a long journey; however, it’s not one that you have to take alone. At our addiction treatment center in Florida we believe that asking for help is a show of strength. After finishing therapy, you should surround yourself with supportive people who will help you maintain a sober lifestyle.
During your time with us, we will help you to develop the necessary skills for coping in social situations. You will also learn how to socialize with others, as well as how to ask for, and offer emotional support. Group participation in creative arts will help you to bond with others and understand what they are going through.
Art can be an amazing subject to bond over. Creating art isn’t about the intrinsic value you produce. Rather, it’s about expressing yourself, and then trying to examine the work and understand its deeper undertones. This provides for almost endless discussion with others.Being creative during rehab will let you appreciate the surface level value that art provides, but you’ll also learn how to look for deeper meaning and use art as a form of introspection.
Developing the skills needed to create art, and then honing your craft requires commitment and effort. It also makes you part of a community of people who have dedicated themselves to the pursuit of fine arts. Bonding with others over a shared passion is an uplifting experience. You can use the social skills you have learned to make new and lasting friendships.
Although art therapy can’t fully replace other treatment techniques, it represents a great supplement for any patient who is serious about their recovery. Being able to express and then decode your emotions can lead to incredible breakthroughs in treatment. Art can let you open up at your own pace and then later reflect on what you are feeling. That kind of progress would otherwise be very difficult to achieve. Now that we have covered what can be gained through art therapy – benefits of being creative during rehabs in Florida we hope you have a new appreciation for this kind of treatment.